UNIT 2.8 Capillary Electrophoresis of DNA

  1. Alan Smith1,
  2. Robert J. Nelson2

Published Online: 1 NOV 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471142727.mb0208s68

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

How to Cite

Smith, A. and Nelson, R. J. 2004. Capillary Electrophoresis of DNA. Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. 68:III:2.8:2.8.1–2.8.17.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Stanford University, Stanford, California

  2. 2

    Dakota Scientific, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2004
  2. Published Print: OCT 2004


Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is an alternative to conventional slab gel electrophoresis for the separation of DNA fragments. CE offers a number of advantages over slab gel separations in terms of speed, resolution, sensitivity, and data handling. Separation times are generally only a few minutes and the DNA is detected either by UV absorption or by fluorescent labeling. The quantity of DNA required for separation is in the nanogram range. Single-base resolution can be obtained on fragments up to several hundred base pairs. In the presence of appropriate standards, fragments can be accurately sized based on relative electrophoretic mobility. A protocol for the analysis of synthetic oligonucleotides in a flowable matrix is described in this unit.